Cover photo for Eric L. Hilts's Obituary
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Eric L. Hilts

December 18, 1982 — June 2, 2024

Cokato, Minnesota

Eric L. Hilts

Eric Leonard Hilts passed away Sunday, June 2nd, 2024, following a brief illness.  He was 41 years old.  Eric was a wonderful son and brother, a caring father, and a talented Chef.  

Service arrangements are pending.

Eric was born in Sioux City, Iowa, on December 18th, 1982, to (Byron) Mark and (Mary) Teresa Hilts.   His formative years were spent in Sioux City where he attended East High School with a brief stint at Western Iowa Tech Community College.  After school he worked for a short time as a dealer at WinnaVegas Casino and as a maintenance mechanic at Tyson.  Eric always enjoyed cooking so in 2004 he enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  After graduating he worked for various Marriott hotel locations in the Minneapolis area as a sous chef and catering chef.  In 2017 Eric found a wonderful position at Cathy Mackenthun's Meats & Deli in St. Bonifacius, Minnesota, where he prepared sausages, bratwurst, and specialty meats.  Eric really enjoyed working at Mackenthun’s and he was greatly admired by the staff for his cheerful work ethic and eagerness to make the most of every day.   Eric was a hard worker.  While working at Mackenthun’s he also helped his friend Julie on her dairy farm where he did chores, milked cows, and delivered calves.  He loved his time spent at the farm.  He was also starting his own line of spices.

Eric enjoyed cooking, fishing, home-brewing, shooting pool, and gardening, but most of all enjoyed the time spent with his three sons at their beautiful acreage.  Music was a big part of his life from an early age.  Eric played the violin/fiddle, mandolin, banjo, drums, and played tuba in the EHS band.  He will be remembered for his beautiful smile, infectious laugh, and sense of humor (no doubt inherited from his Grandpa Terry).

Eric was preceded in death by his grandpa, (Leonard) Nubb Piper; his grandma, (Mary) Louise Kelly-Piper; and his grandma, Joan Lewis-Hilts.  

Eric is survived by his mother and father of Sioux City; brother, Matt Hilts (Britni) of Sergeant Bluff; Grandfather, Terry Hilts (Cleo) of Sioux City; aunt, Alisa Piper of Sioux City; aunt, Diane Nyalka (John) of Glen Carbon, Illinois; aunt, Susan Kahler (Mike) of Dell Rapids, South Dakota, sons, Philip, Simon, & Sam; various great-uncles and great-aunts; nieces, nephews, and cousins; and very special friend, Julie Klatt of Norwood Young America, Minnesota.  Eric loved deeply and was deeply loved.  


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